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Towards an understanding of the inter-organ humoral factor network that controls developmental homeostasis

Ryusuke Niwa (photo)

Ryusuke Niwa

Research SiteUniversity of Tsukuba
Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences
associate professor


Developmental processes exhibit homeostatic adaptation in response to both internal and external conditions of organisms. However,it is still unclear how developmental homeositasis is coordinatedly regulated by signals that should be derived from several organs consisting of organisms at the molecular level. This research aims to elucidate molecular mechanisms of the humoral factor-dependent regulation of the biosynthesis of steroid hormone, a key player for controlling developmental transition. In this study, I will mainly use the well-established genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster.


  1. Komura-Kawa T, Hirota K, Shimada-Niwa Y, Yamauchi R, Shimell M, Shinoda T, Fukamizu A, O'Connor MB, Niwa R. The Drosophila zinc finger transcription factor Ouija board controls ecdysteroid biosynthesis through specific regulation of spookier. PLOS Genetics, 2015, 11, e1005712
  2. Fujikawa Y, Morisaki F, Ogura A, Morohashi K, Enya S, Niwa R, Goto S, Kojima H, Okabe T, Nagano T, Inoue H. A practical fluorogenic substrate for high-throughput screening of glutathione S-transferase inhibitors. Chemical Communications, 2015, 51, 11459-11462.
  3. Ohhara Y, Shimada-Niwa Y, Niwa R, Kayashima Y, Hayashi Y, Akagi K, Ueda H, Yamakawa-Kobayashi K, Kobayashi S. Autocrine regulation of ecdysone synthesis by β3-octopamine receptor in the prothoracic gland is essential for Drosophila metamorphosis. Proceedings of National Academy of Science of the United States of America, 2015, 112, 1452-1457.
  4. Shimada-Niwa Y, Niwa R. Serotonergic neurons respond to nutrients and regulate the timing of steroid hormone biosynthesis in Drosophila. Nature Communications. 2014, 5, 5778.
  5. Enya S, Ameku T, Igarashi F, Iga M, Kataoka H, Shinoda T, Niwa R. A Halloween gene noppera-bo encodes a glutathione S-transferase essential for ecdysteroid biosynthesis via regulating the behaviour of cholesterol in Drosophila. Scientific Reports 2014, 4, 6586.